GALLERY & REPORT: Ipswich Basketball Club destroy Worcester Wolves in play-offs
English Basketball League Division Two play-offs first round Ipswich 77 Worcester 51 Ipswich put together their most dominant performance to see off the Worcester Wolves in the play-off quarter final on Sunday.
The bumper Copleston crowd were anticipating a close game, and although Ipswich started as favourites nobody expected a thirty point blow-out.
This was mainly due to the Ipswich defence limiting the Wolves to low percentage shots, allowing the home side to dominate the rebounds and get out on fast breaks.
The first quarter started slowly but behind fit-again captain Tom Sadler’s shooting and Leigh Greenan’s customary dominance Ipswich gradually took control of the game to take a 21-14 lead.
In the second quarter Ipswich extended their lead behind some fantastic team basketball. Josh Johnson was creating which allowed Aaron Moseley, Dylan Costelloe, Colin Dockrell and Luke Mascall-Wright to do some serious damage.
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And the Suffolk side continued to restrict Worcester’s scoring opportunities, holding them to just ten points in the period.
Indeed, Wolves star player Harry Turner managed just one point in the first half, which ended with Ipswich leading 40-24.
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If the second quarter was dominant the third was ruthless as Ipswich extended their lead again, sending a clear message to the rest of the teams still in the play-offs.
Ipswich won the period 19-7 and by the end of the quarter head coach Nick Drane was able to rest some of his players carrying knocks.
Sadler sat down having scored 16 points and was able to put his feet up in the knowledge that the game had been won with a whole quarter to spare, and the rest of the squad was either rested or rotated so youngsters Dapo Costa and Laurence Watsham could get a taste of play-off basketball at a senior level.
At the end of the third it was Ipswich 69 Worcester 31.
The fourth quarter saw both teams take their foot off the gas. Ipswich rotated their bench while Worcester looked deflated and defeated.
Luke Mascall-Wright led the scoring attack for Ipswich with 17, backed up by 16 from Sadler and Greenan.
And the home side ran out 77-51 winners to set up a clash with the Huddersfield Heat away next Sunday in the play-off semi-final.
The Heat crushed Ipswich in the Patrons Cup final earlier this season, so the Suffolk side will have revenge on their minds.
Drane said: “That was some of the best basketball we have played all season. The balance and ball movement on offence and the collective effort on defence was excellent – when we play like this we are very tough to beat.
“Huddersfield will be a big test next week, they have had the better of us this season.
“I have a lot of time for Eduardo Perez their coach, but he and I both know how we played in that Patrons Cup Final and we have a chance to put that right when the stakes are equally as high.”
- Elsewhere, the club’s under 16 boys kept their play-off run going with a final 16 win at the Cheshire Wire.
Adam Darbous sealed the overtime victory for Adam Davies’ squad with two clutch free throws in the final seconds.
Ben Mobee, Rory Winter and Mark James also stood out for the Suffolk team in their win.